No More Resolutions part deux

post-itA few years ago I told myself, “no more resolutions!” With every New Year I vowed to do more of this and less of that. You know the list. You start off really strong, by February the momentum tapers off, but its okay, you’ll make it back up next month. March arrives and your resolution is non- existent. You do the walk of resolution shame around your house as you take down all of those colorful post-it notes and pics you stuck up to keep you motivated.

So Instead of resolving to make changes in myself, I asked God to give me a revelation instead. Reveal to me Your will and heart. Teach me more about You Father. Guess what, I saw change, real change in me.

It began with me seeing Christ in the scriptures. I’m not talking about the books where He’s visible or the prophecies that announced Him. I’m not talking about the places where He’s hidden in Symbols, Snapshots and Shadows. I saw Him as Noah’s Ark, an Ark that invited me in and kept me hidden in Him in the midst of the storm.

I saw Jesus in the life of Joseph. Deeply loved by His Father, given a robe that set Him apart, betrayed by His brothers. Falsely accused and imprisoned and then promoted to the right hand of power where He was able to offer salvation to His family and the nations around Him.

I saw Him in Samson who stretched His arms wide in the midst of the enemy and accomplished more in His death than He did in His life. Then I began to see Him in my life. I had favor in areas where I shouldn’t have, confirmations in unlikely places. God would move in my forgotten prayers and unspoken prayers. Whenever I cried and said, Father help me, He’d show up in magnificent and extraordinary ways. He always went above and beyond my prayers.

The more I saw Jesus unveiled in people, symbols and shadows throughout the bible,  the more I saw the extent of His Love and the great lengths He went through just to save me. For God so loved me He gave His only beloved Son. God did all of this just for me. Seeing His Love in action transformed my heart and mind. I found myself in Him. Not broken and defeated but a conqueror made whole. Through this unveiling God taught me what it means to be an image bearer of Christ because that is who we are. The word says as Christ is so are we on this earth therefore if the Spirit of God was upon Him to proclaim liberty and set the captive free then that same Spirit is upon us and we’re called to do the very same thing.

We can take up His cross  and adopt His life because we know the end; we’ve seen the victory.This is how I view it, if trials are my prison, then I know the palace is my outcome. If death can produce more than life, then I can die to myself daily. I can put whatever is going on with me aside for a moment to tell that one God placed before me all about my Jesus and save a life. I’m in the ark of Christ, I’m safe, sound and heaven bound, even on those days  I’m not feeling it. No matter what comes our way, all things will work out for our good. We will be victorious like Christ because we are seated with Him and He sits victoriously on the right hand of the Father.

No more resolutions, let Christ be the change, let Him be revealed in you. Let your life be a snapshot of Him. With this knowledge comes a lasting transformation and a confidence about who you are and where you’re headed. Old to New. Pit to Palace. Death to Life Lived More Abundantly.

Happy New Year God’s Beloved!


 

Completely Forgiven

christmas gift

I was bible study hopping a few years back. My husband and I arrived a little late so we thought it best to sit in the back of the class. As I was settling in I heard someone ask, “I know I’m forgiven, but I still have to pay the consequences of my sins and mistakes right?” It took everything in me to contain my excitement. I had to fight the urge to raise my hand and ask the pastor if I can answer that question and set my fellow believer free. I was new to this group so I kept my cool.

The teacher answered, “Yes, we still have to pay the consequences of our sins and mistakes.” My heart sank. I wanted to say something but I couldn’t. How do you correct a Pastor in front of his flock? How I wish I had that spirit of boldness as seen in the apostle Paul when he corrected Peter. Every part of me wanted to ask, if forgiveness is a gift, why do I have to pay for it? I tell you the truth not speaking up that day still haunts me. I wonder how many more Believers are out there living with this same thought. Saved but bound. 

If I could turn back the hands of time, I’d ask if I could answer that question and I’d boldly say, there is No Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! If I’m not completely forgiven then why would God say in His covenant promise that my sins and lawless acts, He will remember no more! When God made this oath there was no one greater to swear by so He swore unto Himself.  This isn’t some human contract, this is a covenant, made by God and fulfilled by the blood of His Son. It’s unbreakable, irrevocable, its Truth, a truth we can stand and hold onto.

Is Sin greater than the Cross? If one man’s disobedience (Adam) can bring sin and death to us all then why can’t one Man’s righteous act (Jesus) bring complete forgiveness to all who believe.

How Saved Am I?

To say that we don’t have complete forgiveness is to say that Christ’s birth, death and resurrection was flawed. There is no flaw in God. There are no tricks up His sleeve or “fine print” in His promise. That would make Him cruel like the men of this world. There is no lie in Him nor does He make promises He can’t keep. He is a God of Love.

Jesus Himself said He came to set the captives free. What is freedom if you’re still living in fear? Jesus was beaten so we can be victorious, bruised so we can be healed, broken so we can be whole. I have yet to come across a translation that says He was wounded for some of our transgressions. Why would He endure the cross for part of our punishment and some of our sins? Christ became our sin, All of our sins so that we can become the Righteousness of God in Christ. Sons and daughters of God, God doesn’t sweep away the Righteous with the Wicked.

My friends in Christ,  Jesus’ work on the cross was flawless and He demonstrated His Love for us perfectly. That Love casted out any fear of death and judgment we had. We are in Christ and in Christ we are Saved and Completely Forgiven.


Scripture References for Further Research

Romans 5 ,Romans 5:7-9 , Romans 8 , Hebrews 16-22 , Numbers 23:19 , Isaiah 53, Genesis 18

*Hebrews 7: 25 My new fav – He is able to save completely because He Lives!

 

 

Confidence in Christ

The Holy Spirit enlightened me recently in such a way that it’s giving me hope during one of the darkest hours of my life. You may know the story well but I want to encourage you to take a moment to hear what Christ is saying to you today.

In the book of Mark Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” So they boarded the vessel with Jesus. Some time later a vicious storm broke out over the boat. Imagine the disciples fright as the wind and waves violently tossed them about. The boat swamped with water. The thunder claps, the lightning strikes, skies so dark and cloudy you could barely see what’s in front of you.

There in the midst of it all laid Jesus, fast asleep on a cushion at the rear of the boat. They must have wondered how can anyone sleep through all of this? Fearing for their lives the disciples woke Him and said, “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus got up and stilled the storm. Then He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (See full story Mark 4:35-41)

In all of my studies of this story the focus has always been on Jesus quieting the storm but that’s not the significant part of this story. In my recent study I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Did He not say they were going to the other side?”

Getting Through the Storm

The book of Hebrews defines faith as, “Confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV.

Jesus breaks this down even further for us. He says Have faith in God; our faith in Him can move a mountain. Note that Jesus is calling us not to have faith in ourselves but Confidence in Him who can do all things. It’s Him not you moving the mountain.

Faith is Confidence in Jesus Christ being who He says He is. Confidence in Him being the Alpha and Omega of your life. That nothing in this life is beyond His knowledge, ability and reach. Confidence in Him being the promise keeper. That every word He uttered to you will be fulfilled. That He does have a plan for you one that will take you to great heights and depths in Him. A life filled with meaning and purpose. That He heard every prayer and every cry and because you are His, ALL THINGS will work out for your good. Including the things that don’t make sense to you.

Confidence in His willingness to heal you and your loved ones, grant you your heart’s desire and set you free from the things that have kept you bound. That He will protect and defend you. Still the storm, tear down walls and break chains on your behalf. Confidence in His unfailing, unconditional and unshakeable love for you. A Love that cannot lie. A love so perfect and pure that He laid His life down and shed His blood so that you may live this life and the next victorious.

I believe the Father wants to take us to a place in Him where our confidence in His love for us is so great that when trouble arises, we don’t respond in fear and doubt but in Faith. A centurion type of faith that says, Jesus, just say the word and I know it will be done!

A faith that doesn’t wake Him in the midst of a storm but grabs a pillow and rest with Him. A confidence in Christ that is not shaken when things are falling apart or moved by the fire blazing around. A faith that holds on to Him who is with you and for you and can see you through the storm. You hold on because you trust what His word says about you. Your boat may rock, it may sustain some damage but you know that He who promised is faithful and You Will make it to the other side!

Follow the Promise


What promises did He make to you? I encourage you not to give up on His promise; don’t give in to the doubt. He is faithful, willing and His word is tested and true. Jesus cannot fail you. It may feel like you’re all alone but you’re not – Christ is with you. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable. Things may look dark for you right now. It may seem like you’re not going to make it, but Jesus Christ, God’s Love made perfect, says You Are going to the other side! 🙂


-Amen

The True Lord’s Prayer

The True Lord’s Prayer

The “Our Father Prayer” (Matthew 6:5-14 Luke 11:1-4) has traditionally been taught as the “Lord’s Prayer” but this prayer is actually the “Believer’s Prayer”. When Jesus spoke this prayer He was teaching the Believer how to pray. The True Lord’s Prayer can be found in the book of John 17:1-26. It’s a beautiful prayer one you should truly keep in your heart. Due to the length of this prayer I’ll just share with you Jesus’ personal prayer for you.

The True Lord’s Prayer 

“My prayer is not for them [Jesus’ disciples] alone.

I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message,

that all of them may be one, Father,

just as You are in Me and I am in You.

May they also be in Us

so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  

I have given them the glory that You gave Me,

that they may be one as We are one—  

I in them and You in Me—

so that they may be brought to complete unity.

Then the world will know that You sent Me

and have loved them even as You have loved Me. 

“Father, I want those You have given Me

to be with Me where I am,

and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me

because You loved Me before the creation of the world. 

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You,

I know You, and they know that You have sent Me.

I have made You known to them,

and will continue to make You known

in order that the love You have for Me

may be in them

and that I myself may be in them.”

The Lord's Prayer (1886-1896) from the series ...
The Lord’s Prayer (1886-1896) from the series The Life of Christ, Brooklyn Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Jesus’ prayer for you John 17:20-26 The True Lord’s Prayer